Drink of the Week: WINE!
I drank a lot of wine this week. Glasses of wine, and some yummy white wine sangria. No new beers or ciders. But wine galore. Including two super interesting ones that, if you’re local, you should definitely check out.
Welcome To Troy, Birthplace of Uncle Sam
When we first moved back to Bennington I knew finding interesting wine was going to be tricky. We have two good shops to get wine here in town, but it’s not the same as being in New York or Ann Arbor where more speciality shops (and people willing to spend more building their cellar) drive a market full of interesting wine. I drive into Williamstown (about a 20 minute drive) to find more of a selection. That’s where I found one of this week’s wines.
In what should have been an awesome turn of events, this realization was balanced with learning, through Yelp, that a new wine shop had opened in Troy, NY. Troy was a place we avoided like the plague in college (I went to school nearby). We go to brunch over there sometimes but have never spent much time there. Hangover from college, maybe. But Brattleboro has been failing us, and Troy keeps getting press. So we finally headed over Thursday for dinner.
Our first stop was Twenty-two 2nd Street Wine Co. — which exceeded my already high expectations. Why? Because when walking in I immediately saw that each set of shelves included a tag proclaiming “white and orange”. And we all know I love orange wine. And can never freaking find it. But they have tons. In addition, though, what I love most is that this is a shop that curates small batch, natural wine. Sustainable farming, biodynamic practices: you’ll find the wines that fit your bill. Additionally, they know wine. Big time. But in an unpretentious way. Kris and I picked up two bottles and got a suggestion for what to drink next door with dinner.
Dinner was at Lucas Confectionary, a candy store turned wine bar. They have pizza, small plates and a great wine and beer selection (they have Suarez – closest place I’ve been with Suarez on tap). The space is dark in the front but opens to an airy, covered patio and then out onto garden sitting. The fixtures are original and those that aren’t meet the aesthetic perfectly. If darkness with the glow of edison lights is your idea of perfect, it’s time to go. Now. They don’t take reservations but with the large amount of seating and bar area, waiting is probably never a problem.
Justin Dutraive 2016 Gamay Noir; Beaujolais
There are two different 2016 Beaujolais from this producer on his site so I’m not sure which one it is. I image both are equally good. The man at 22 2nd St. told us to get it. There’s no more of this Beaujolais in New York State. Lucas Confectionary, though, has it by the bottle.The color is incredible, a light ruby. It’s tart, a little sour even, berry and red fruit forward, light and a little effervescent on the tongue (but it’s a still wine). It’s not a big red but that’s okay because it is interesting, crisp and opens up beautifully. We enjoyed two few glasses with sicilian pizza with pepperoni, jalapenos and a crust brushed with chili infused chili.
Roger Sabon 2011 Châteauneuf du-Pape
I bought this at West a few weeks ago when I picked up two bottles of Malbec for an upcoming comparative tasting. It’s Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre and was a bit of a splurge bottle. It was my hope that I would hold onto it and wait until the perfect time to drink it. The internet clued me in: 2011 CdP’s should be drunk young. On Friday I got the Wine Folly newsletter and, wouldn’t you know it, it was all about pairing wine with burgers this Labor Day weekend. And in it, as if a sign from the universe, there was a quote about pairing a really good burger with Châteauneuf du-Pape. We tasted first.
The wine is deep ruby with med-low viscosity. Smelled of red fruit and maybe cherry candy. As it opened it was definitely rocking a leather and Twizzlers (original cherry) combo that was fantastic. Had some olive tones and maybe a little vanilla.
The burgers were from Madison’s and they were incredible. Med-rare, lettuce, tomato and cheddar. We also got fries. The wine’s dryness and med+ tannins (which were smooth but present) kept our palates ready for each bite. Phenomenal. Also very good after dinner. This is a bottle you just keep drinking.
Partida Creus 2016 ‘CV Cart Ver’ Cartoixa Vermell, Catalunya (Massis de Bonastre)
This was one of two bottles purchased from Twenty-Two. It’s a great orange wine, and I like the expression: not brackish or briny. You can taste the contact and it gives you a gorgeous, salmon/pink clear wine with the tartness of a lambic balanced with a floral perfume so it’s not super boozy (also because it’s 10%). Surprisingly long, tart and fruity finish. A little pink grapefruit and lots of red berry. We enjoyed it with some pita from the oven sprinkled with olive oil and Mexican paprika, and I made a chutney of cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, garlic and rosemary. Perfect pairing.
Summer’s Last Stand Sangria
I made a batch of Summer’s Last Stand Sangria on Saturday when we got back from the Southern Vermont Garlic Festival. I couldn’t find any caramel liqueur but Brian at BBO pointed me toward some caramel vodka. Rather than have vodka and rum, I swapped out rum + liqueur for just the vodka. This ups the need for cider. Big time. Otherwise it’s super boozy and caramely without enough apple.
It’s a repeat but on Saturday we went over to Harvest Brewing for some live music and dinner. Had Citizen Cider Lake Hopper. Harvest is currently making grilled cheese. One has apples. And the pairing was as good as expected. Honey wheat bread with cheese, apples and balsamic mustard — tasty on its own but WOW with the cider. Very excited for the addition of grilled cheese at Harvest and if you’re local, can’t recommend this pairing enough.